Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal – BBC Sport

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Tottenham’s new signing Lucas Moura could make his first appearance for two months on Saturday

TEAM NEWS

Tottenham’s £23m signing Lucas Moura is in contention to make his debut against Arsenal in the early Saturday kick-off.

Toby Alderweireld, Harry Winks and Danny Rose all returned from long-term injuries to play in the midweek FA Cup win over Newport County.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is a doubt for the game, having been substituted with a calf injury during the win over Everton last week.

Danny Welbeck could be fit, while Nacho Monreal has recovered from illness.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Steve Bower: “The added spice to the North London derby mix is the Champions League chase, and the first Wembley meeting in almost 25 years since a Tony Adams goal won an FA Cup semi-final for Arsenal.

“How the Gunners could do with a defensive leader anywhere near the mould of their former skipper for this one. Their issues away from home won’t go away- beaten six times already and winless in their last 15 league games on the road against the rest of the ‘big six’.

“Aside from the bragging rights, three points would be hugely significant. If Arsenal win they move a point behind Spurs; lose and they are seven behind and facing what might be an impossible challenge.”

Twitter: @SteveBowercomm

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino targets second place: “I’m a person that believes, and of course we’re going to fight for that to happen.

“The [seven-point] gap is not massive but it will be tough.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “It is always a game that is charged emotionally. This season, if you look at the table, it is a very important game.

“For us, it is an opportunity to come back closer to the Champions League places, which is a priority.

“We lost our last two away games, at Bournemouth where we were 1-0 up, at Swansea where we were 1-0 up. You look at the mistakes we made and I am quite optimistic we will not make them again.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

I still think Arsenal can make a late run for the top four, but this is not a week where they close the gap.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v comedian Rhys James

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Arsenal beat Spurs for the first time in seven Premier League meetings in the reverse fixture last November.
  • This is the first game between the sides at Wembley since April 1993, when a goal by Tony Adams gave Arsenal a 1-0 FA Cup semi-final victory.
  • Tottenham have dropped 37 points from winning positions in Premier League games against Arsenal – the worst record of any club against a single opponent.
  • They have met 194 times in all competitions, with Arsenal leading by 81 wins to Tottenham’s 62.

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Spurs are unbeaten in eight league games but have drawn three of the last five.
  • Mauricio Pochettino’s side have gone 12 home matches without defeat in the Premier League, winning eight of the past 10.
  • The four points earned from their two most recent league fixtures, against Manchester United and Liverpool, is one more than they managed in five previous games this season against other current top-six sides.
  • Since Pochettino took charge ahead of the 2014-15 season, Spurs have the best home record in Premier League matches between the current top six teams: 10 wins and 35 points from 18 fixtures.
  • Tottenham have scored in 14 successive top-flight matches since the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on 18 November.
  • They have conceded nine of their 24 league goals this season, or 38%, after the 75th minute of matches.
  • Harry Kane has scored six goals in six league games against Arsenal. He has 21 goals in 32 Premier League London derby matches, an average of 0.66 per game.

Arsenal

  • Arsene Wenger’s side are winless in 15 Premier League away games against the current top five clubs since a 2-0 victory at Manchester City in January 2015 (D6, L9).
  • Arsenal have only averaged a point per away game in the Premier League this season, with three wins, four draws and six defeats. They have the division’s ninth best away record.
  • They could suffer three straight away defeats in the Premier League for the first time since a run of four losses ended last April.
  • However, Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine matches at Wembley Stadium, winning them all including two penalty shootouts.
  • The Gunners have gone eight league games without a clean sheet since mid-December.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four goals in four appearances against Tottenham: one in the Champions League and three goals in the Europa League.
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan has set up three Premier League goals in 120 minutes of action for Arsenal, as many as Alexis Sanchez managed in 1507 minutes for the Gunners this season.
SAM’s verdict
Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 26%
Probability of home win: 47% Probability of away win: 27%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.





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